Rated 3.8 out of 5 by 14
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by pdp Easy to use, cost effective, worth the money, but you get what you pay for
As you read this review, keep in mind this unit was only $36 when I bought it. Though I may be listing several cons below, it's not meant to bash the unit, it's there to let you know what to expect and decide whether the cons are a good trade off for the price.
First, the build quality is just ok, it is very obvious it is for indoor use only. And though the manual says you can mount it outside if you put it in a weatherproof housing, I wouldn't chance it. If mounted in a garage though, I can see it physically lasting many years (electrically is another question, more on that below). It is a very light unit, and the spring loaded connectors for the solenoid wires are small, a little hard to press and pretty flimsy. Luckily, you shouldn't be inserting and removing wires much.
Installation though, was very easy. The base screws into the wall (with included anchors and screws) and it has 2 sets of connectors on it: one set for the main unit to slide in and connect, and another set for the aforementioned spring clips plus the AC transformer input plug.
The main unit slides in pretty easily, but again, it is very light and does not feel extremely durable. I would be worried if I accidentally dropped it. The worst part, in my case, was that the main unit didn't seem to fit into the base connector very well. It wasn't obvious at first because it clicked in pretty easily, but when I started getting a bunch of random "valve wiring" error messages on the screen when trying to turn on individual solenoids, I finally figured out I had to press the main unit harder down it into the base to make the errors go away. This problem took me 4 days to debug and is another sign of not so great construction/design.
It is very easy to use though, I didn't have to consult the manual much to program it. The only thing I really needed to read up on was how to pair the wireless rain/temperature sensor. After reading a little, that was very simple to setup as well.
Speaking of the rain/temperature sensor, it too is very flimsy. But unlike the main unit, it needs to sit outside and tolerate extreme weather conditions. I would suspect it will last at best 3-5 years before the plastic starts becoming brittle.
Functionally, it should suit most people's needs very well. The programming is very flexible, there is a manual mode, and it has a skip hours/days feature to temporarily turn off the programming as well. I'm not exactly sure of the intricate details of how the smart sensor affects the schedule, but it will skip the schedule completely or adjust the watering times (based on your programmed times) depending on what rain/temperature it reads.
The one small gripe I have with the features is the manual mode. In manual mode, you can only choose to start one or all zones, you cannot pick a subset of zones, like 1, 3, 5 to start manually. Not a big deal, but that was the only feature I'd likely use which I found was missing.
I saw this for $36 with a $75 utility company rebate, so I thought, what can I lose? Well, I lost about 4 days (couple hours a day) worth of time debugging as mentioned earlier, but other than that, this is a very good basic unit with the added wireless smart sensor feature. We'll just see how long it lasts!
June 18, 2016
Rated 1.0 out of 5.0 by Chantel Does not work, Non-existent Customer Support
Do not bother purchasing this. This seemed like a great value for the features it offered, but after installing it, we are constantly getting errors. I have tried resetting the device multiple times, to no avail. I have the device set to water on Wed. and Saturday per my city code. This device still operates on Thursdays as well, even though I have it set to run zero zones on Thursday. (that is when the device works. Most of the time we get errors stating to check the wiring on certain stations. When we check the wires, the error clears, and we are able to run the system one time before more errors appear. Still the Thursday run time will not go away! I have called customer support twice, each time I get a message saying we are busy assisting other customers, please leave a message (but the mailbox is full, so I can't). I also contacted them several days ago via their website customer service link. I received an automated message saying someone would respond shortly. That was several days ago. No response.
May 14, 2016
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Handyman1945 Potentially a great timer
First off, we have had so much rain in Colorado this spring that this timer has not yet had to run the lawn sprinklers. I happen to have my timer in the middle of the basement of a large house surrounded with trees, so I had considerable trouble getting the wireless rain-gauge to sync with the timer. After a couple of email exchanges with Raindrip Technical Services I could position the rain-gauge on one of my fences facing the correct direction to make and keep sync.
As the attached picture shows the time still wants to delay the sprinklers for another 10 hours because of the bit of rain we had yesterday. I am expecting more rain today and ..., so I don't expect any water use for days and days ;-)
The manual is minimal but functional and the controller was rather easy to program and it seems to have all the needed options.
My only concern with this system is that I might have to switch from the recommended one inch of water on one day a week to something like a third of an inch on Monday, Wednesday, Friday so the 'delay function' will actually save water and not damage the grass.
More testing is needed.
I will see if I can update this post next month.
May 26, 2015
Rated 1.0 out of 5.0 by Ian Not reliable in the long term.
I have this product installed for about 3 months in GA. The unit started out working well. Recently the unit stopped recording any rain at all (even in the heavy 1"+ downpours). I love the controller and programmability, however the rain sensing unit seems to be poorly designed. The water bucket inside it stoped tilting under weight. When I shake the unit, it does tilt.
July 14, 2015
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Jerry Excellent timer with smart rain detection
fair price with wireless rain detection feature, easy and flexible for settings, and nice looking on the wall.
Installed and completed settings within 1 hr, including pairing the rain sensor and station. recommend to use.
May 12, 2015
Rated 1.0 out of 5.0 by John Theirs just hasn't broken yet
The main feature of this product is the wireless weather station's ability to control the watering schedule. However, if you had the experience of owning this product for some length of time, you've surely had to replace the batteries. The weather station is constructed of poor quality and easily snaps when removing the weather station from it's metal mounting bracket. The metal bracket is solid- too solid- and after one year of weatherization on the plastic, the plastic cracked. So now the weather station can't stay on the mounting hardware- it would very obviously fall with the slightest wind. A very futuristic wireless weather sensor ought to be robust enough to endure the basic wear and tear of performing it's function. This weather station does not meet that criteria.
March 23, 2013
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by Smith Good replacement timer.
Easy to install and programming is a fairly simple task.
July 22, 2014
Rated 2.0 out of 5.0 by Claysthename Second bad timer
I first bought this product about one year ago. That unit failed within two weeks (screen continually flashing). Home Depot allowed me to exchange it for an identical replacement. That unit failed this week. This time the timer was repeatedly turning on/off one of the sprinkler valves very quickly. The timer opened the solenoid and the water would just begin to flow when the timer suddenly turned off the solenoid again. I have a 25 psi flow restrictor at each valve but the pressure created by this pattern was still strong enough to blow one of the drip system emitters off sixty feet away from the valve. I unplugged the timer for 10 minutes and when I plugged it back it still wasn't working. The next day it seemed to be fine but I no longer trust it at this point.
I really hate to write this review because the unit was easy to install and reasonably easy to use. The watering times adjusted as expected and the batteries in the remote wireless temperature/rain gauge were still fine after one year. The price was 'right' too (I had to spend $150 to replace it with the equivalent model from Rain Bird).
May 10, 2014